A Sticky Christmas

I am one of five boys in my family and as you can imagine at any time (let alone Christmas) our home was always full of fun and a dash of chaos.

I remember many Christmas’ growing up, by far the most memorable happened abit over a decade imagesago. As the brothers all began to get older and earn money we started to buy each other gifts (all be in $10 ones.) one year my older brother Cameron (yep the one heard frequently on LightFM) had remembered to purchase Christmas gifts for everyone but somehow had forgotten to purchase one brother a gift… Yep me. In his Christmas morning panic he quickly dashed outside found a stick (only Jesus knows what was running through his mind) came back inside, wrapped it up and placed it right under the tree buried beneath all the other gifts.

When it came time for Cam to handover the loot he was beaming with pride at his work, upon unwrapping the gift I didn’t share in his joy. I stared at it in shock, and for one of the first times in my life I couldn’t speak. I quickly assumed it was a prank present and that soon a ‘real’ gift would follow, boy was I wrong when he told me “I just forgot about you, sorry mate.”

StickCam & I are best of mates and often (especially at Christmas) joke about this and many other tales. The appropriately titled silly season can fill our lives & calendars, it also can empty our bank balances. It can also make us so preoccupied with presents, food and family functions that we actually forget the original focus of Christmas.

This Christmas in the middle of the shopping, that Christmas function and the cooking, guard your heart from drifting in focus. Christmas is all about God’s love for all of humanity that is seen in Jesus. Before that silent night their was no saviour and the world was crying out desperately for one. Heaven’s reply was a baby boy, and in him Endless hope and relentless joy started.

Interview with Ed Stetzer

While working at LightFM I had the privilege of chatting with Ed Stetzer ahead of his first visit to Oz a little under 12 months ago.

Would understanding your culture, help your ministry? Author, Speaker, ed-minus100Pastor and Church planter Ed Stetzer, is the President of Lifeway Research. Seeing Ed three years ago, I had the privilege of speaking directly with him and posed questions in this interview of church and culture are brought to light, with some interesting findings from the research.

Juggling church and family with a busy schedule, having a great support team, putting God first and good mates to work with, maintains his balance. Ed explains why looking after the family is so important, stating: “I refuse to sacrifice my family on the alter of ministry success”.

A book ‘Transformational Church’ studies seven thousand churches of various denominations. People that have been changed by the power of the Gospel and are having an impact on their community is what Lifeway Research is most passionate about.

With a positive perspective on the church, Ed seeks to know how well the church is doing and where it can improve. Trends in dropouts, state of the Western Church and living in a ‘Post-Christian Society’ are all topics of discussion.¬†Ed says that the greatest trend is that the church has ‘lost it’s home field advantage’ – spiritual answers are no longer sought from the church but culture.

Take a listen to our chat here: